Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes taste EXACTLY like the infamous appetizer from Cheesecake Factory! This is a copycat recipe like no other! It’s spot on. Best part is… they’re gluten free just like the restaurant serves.


A few weeks ago my husband and I had the pleasure of taking our oldest son out to eat after a pack meeting for Cub Scouts. You can imagine his excitement getting mom and dad all to himself. It just NEVER happens. I so wish that we could spend more 1:1 time with our kids, but the reality of 2 working parents, kid’s activities, homework and housework… when we HAVE the time, we make it count as a whole family. To take 5 kids out individually and leave the other 4 at home is almost heartbreaking. They want your attention too. I try to do 1:1 time at night when I’m putting each child to bed, when I go to run errands and my husband can watch the other kids, cooking in the kitchen, homework time, on weekends when I can sneak 1 child to stay up later than the rest or sleeping with mommy when daddy is on shift. They always love sleeping with me ( it’s a sacrifice on my part for sure depending on which child it is).

That night of the pack meeting we went to Cheesecake Factory at the request of my son. Cheesecake is his fav. I had recently returned from a girl’s weekend where my Aunt Vesna had mentioned to me how much she LOVES these Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes from Cheesecake Factory. I decided to give them a try since I was there. HOLY MOLY were these things incredible! My husband and I both agreed that we should have gotten 2 orders for each of our meals. They were just amazing! I searched that night for a copycat recipe and found this one with rave reviews. Despite some trial and error with the recipe I finally got it right. It took about 5 tries, no lie. The secret was a little less butter and using muffin tins to keep the shape of the tamale. I kept getting flat, butter leaking pancakes and not thick, soft on the inside, crispy on the outside cakes. The muffin tins helped resolve that issue thanks to my husband’s ingenious thinking. Now you can make them once and get it right the first time!

Best part is… they’re naturally gluten free!

Thank you Crystal from Dangerously Delicious for sharing these Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes!

Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes

4 from 8 votes
These Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes taste EXACTLY like the infamous appetizer from Cheesecake Factory! This is a copycat recipe like no other! It's spot on. Best part is... they're gluten free just like the restaurant serves.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 5 servings


Salsa Verde

  • 2 large tomatillos, , diced
  • 1 (4-oz )can mild green chilies
  • 1 green onion, , minced
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper

Tomato Salsa

  • 1 medium tomato, , diced
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, , diced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 small jalapeño, , seeded and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper

Southwestern Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch onion powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash garlic powder

Tamale Cakes

  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn, , coarsely chopped in food processor
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons softened butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons corn flour AKA masa harina flour, (NOT corn meal)


  • sour cream
  • avocado, , diced
  • fresh cilantro, , chopped


  • Prepare salsa verde by combining all ingredients in blender by pulsing until smooth with small amount of chunks. Chill.
  • Prepare tomato salsa by combining all ingredients. Chill.
  • Prepare southwestern sauce by combing all ingredients and whisking until smooth. Chill.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prepare tamale cakes by adding all ingredients, except kernel corn, together and mixing well. Add kernel corn last and mix by hand.
  • Lightly spray 5 muffin tins with cooking spray. Add 1/2 cup wet mixture to each tin. Press firmly into tins without packing too tightly.
  • Bake for 25 minutes on middle rack.
  • Invert muffin tins onto baking sheet to release tamale cakes after cakes are fully cooked. (hint- let them sit for about 1 minute when they come out of the oven to prevent them from breaking).
  • Serve warm with salsa verde underneath cake, Southwest sauce drizzled on top and tomato salsa spooned over sauce. Garnish and serve.
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer
Thank you Crystal from Dangerously Delicious for sharing these Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes!